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Responding to Online Reviews: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

White label digital marketing services

By Tom Earnest on Jul 19, 2021

Customers rely on online reviews such as those found on Google and Yelp to discover new businesses, products and services.

  • 93% of consumers say online reviews impact their purchasing decisions.
  • 84% of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from people they know.
  • Most people prefer not to make a purchase from a business with less than a 3 star ranking (out of five).


So, it’s important for businesses to respond to both positive and negative reviews. There is an art to this. A bad response can be worse than no response at all. That’s why you may want to offer your clients white label reputation management services to handle these reviews and other online reputation issues. But before we get into all that, let’s take a look at some tips on how businesses can best deal with both positive and negative reviews.


Responding to Positive Reviews

We would all agree that it’s easier to respond to a positive review than a negative one. But your response might be the difference between a satisfied customer and a lifelong, dedicated fan who will talk about you in glowing terms to all their friends. Here’s some guidelines.

1. Say Thank You

Be sure to thank the customer for taking the time to leave a review. Change your wording for every review if responses are automated.

2. Personalize Your Response

When you’re responding to a positive review, always remember to mention the name of the customer if you know it.  At least mention their username. Refer to the specific experience they discuss in their review. Personalizing your response shows that the company cares about its customers.

3. Invite the Reviewer to Return and Bring Their Friends

Make happy customers feel welcome by extending an invitation for them to return. Encourage them to bring their friends, who hopefully will also become happy customers.  You may even want to offer them a voucher for a small product or service, or “inside” information about an upcoming sale.

4. Mention Additional Products or Services

If you can do it without coming across as a salesperson, you may want to mention another product or service you think the reviewer would like. Review responses can be an opportunity for cross-selling and up-selling — but only if you are low-key and diplomatic.

5. Use Keywords

Take this opportunity to boost your SEO. Good white label reputation management services will mention your company’s name and the location in your response with an eye toward making you more locally visible on Google.

Responding to Negative Online Reviews

Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that all your clients’ reviews will be positive. This is where your marketing agency offering white-label online reputation management can really help your clients! Though its not fun to deal with bad reviews, it’s absolutely critical to do it and do it quickly. An unanswered bad review reflects badly on a brand. And in some cases, a bad review can be an opportunity.

1. Appreciate the Feedback

There will always be grumpy customers who refuse to be happy. On the other hand, a negative review may bring something to your attention that needs improvement.  So, tell the reviewer that you appreciate the feedback.

2. Respond Publicly but Also Privately

You will want to respond publicly so everyone reading the review can see you are concerned. If possible, try to make the problem right. In many instances it’s best in addition to your public response to communicate directly with the customer offline. This keeps a review from becoming an ongoing negative thread. So, when you respond publicly, include direct contact information where the reviewer can reach you.


3. Apologize and Sympathize

If you are in the wrong, own up. Saying you’re sorry shows you care about your customers’ experiences and that you are willing to make changes to accommodate them.

Even if it’s not your fault, apologize anyway. This is often an excellent opportunity to strengthen trust between a company and their customer. Customers are turned off by arrogant responses.

4. Request a Second Chance

Invite the customer to return.  If they do, greet them with open arms. This is your chance to turn that bad review into a good one.

5. Don’t Feed the Trolls

Sometimes you will get comments from people who are wrong, lying and malevolent. There is nothing you can do to please someone out to cause trouble. Once you have set the record straight, the public should be able to see the trouble-maker for who they are. Do not keep engaging. And always take the high road.

More than Just Responses to Reviews

White label online reputation management serves not only address customer reviews. In addition to responding to customers and engaging with them, such services also analyze the data to help a company understand where they need to make changes and where they really shine.


Online reputation management efforts also help businesses retain customers. A recent study showed that SMBs (Small and medium-sized businesses) that use white-label online reputation management have 57% better retention than those that do not.


Umbrella Can Help

Contact us for more Information on how white label online reputation management services can help your company. Online reputation management is a service that every company needs. Now you can offer it to your marketing agency’s clients without a big expenditure of money, time and personnel. At Umbrella, we offer packages as low as $60 per month.

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